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Bigsky across a desk

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Bigsky across a desk

Postby matt222 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:05 pm

I'm getting a Strymon Bigsky to put across my Mackie SR32.4 desk' aux send/returns. I use just synths.

Do I connect just one desk send to the Bigsky and then return both L/R Bigsky outputs back to one of the desk's stereo aux returns. So 3 cables?

Also, do the cables need to be balanced or are standard mono jack cables sufficient?
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Re: Bigsky across a desk

Postby Wonks » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:27 am

It's a guitar pedal so will just have non-balanced inputs and outputs. But you may be better off with pseudo-balanced cables than just using mono jacks.

Are you using stereo or mono outputs on the synths? If stereo, then I'd feed the Strymon from two aux sends. If you have them free, I'd take the Strymon's two outputs into a stereo channel on the desk rather than aux returns as you'll have more control over input gain and you will have some tone controls as well. You can also feed some of the output (via that channel's aux sends) back into the Strymon inputs for extra feedback (if you want it).
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Re: Bigsky across a desk

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:55 am

I use guitar pedals often and this is the reason I keep an ART CleanBox Pro around. It solves these interfacing problems at a stroke.

Nice though the BigSky is, it's just a delay pedal and doesn't do anything particularly magical, IMHO. I can't help thinking it's not really the tool for the job, but that's just me...
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Re: Bigsky across a desk

Postby Wonks » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:45 pm

The Elf wrote:INice though the BigSky is, it's just a Reverb pedal

FTFY.
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Re: Bigsky across a desk

Postby The Elf » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:46 pm

Oops - brain fade!


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Re: Bigsky across a desk

Postby Escapegoat » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:20 pm

Wonks wrote:
The Elf wrote:INice though the BigSky is, it's just a Reverb pedal

FTFY.

Not only that, but it's a reverb with a lot of modulation options, with movement and pitch-shifting with feedback in the reverb tails. Which is why so many guitarists - and now synth players - have gone nuts over it.

Not at all similar to 'just reverb' pedals which stick to 'realistic' spring/hall/plate reverbs.

I had one and the only downside is that the shimmery FX are so instantly lovely, adding extra texture to whetever you play through it. So much so that you tend to add them to everything, and before you know it, everything starts to sound the same.
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Re: Bigsky across a desk

Postby nathanscribe » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:47 pm

What they said: desk send -> BigSky -> two mixer channels

Also you can use the individual channel sends with no problem. I've got an Orchid transformer isolator box similar to the Art that Elf mentioned – good for solving balanced/unbalanced interfacing between things like this.

I've always used mono cables with my Strymon.
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Re: Bigsky across a desk

Postby matt222 » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:28 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone.

I tried the various options and find sending one AUX send to the Bigsky and 2 back to a stereo channel on the mixer sounds best.

I did try sending 2 AUX sends to the Bigsky but couldn't hear any difference.

Curious to know if balanced cables would make any improvements?? ( I don't currently have any )
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Re: Bigsky across a desk

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:40 am

matt222 wrote:I did try sending 2 AUX sends to the Bigsky but couldn't hear any difference.

Not surprising. The vast majority of artificial reverb processors equipped with 'stereo inputs' sum the two channels to mono before the reverb processing, so are effectively mono in, stereo out when used in a fully-wet mode as you would use it in your configuration.

Curious to know if balanced cables would make any improvements?? ( I don't currently have any )

Improvements to what?

The Bigsky has unbalanced inputs and outputs, as do most effects pedals. If you had an issue with ground-loop hum, and your mixer has balanced inputs on the FX return channels, then you could potentially use a pair of pseudo-balanced cables to remove the direct ground path between Bigsky output and mixer. You'd need to use a line isolating transformer box for the connection between aux send and bigsky input, though.

But as you haven't mentioned any hum problems, I presume that's not an issue for your anyway.

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